First-Time Voters React to Debate
Many students will vote in their first election this November. Some hope the candidates clarify their stances on the issues.
Voters made their way to debate gatherings throughout the Northland including viewing parties at UMD.
Several of the students said they wanted to receive more clarity about what the candidates thought about the issues. Even though this is the first election cycle for many of them, it’s been a process they’ve enjoyed.
“I’m really interested into seeing what will happen. This has been a crazy election, nothing will surprise me at this point,” said Jake Griffiths, a sophomore studying political science.
Many of the students want to see how the candidates react when pressed on the issues.
“I just want to learn how they do it and what they’re all about because they’re two different candidates and have really different views on different things,” said Azam Ali who will vote in his first presidential election in November.
A debate is one of the few times both candidates are together and not in front of a home crowd and that could be a difference in this election cycle.
“Even though we’ve got so much information via the internet and all these other sources. It can be really nice to have a contrast where it’s just the candidates at one place in one time,” said Geoffrey Sheagley, an assistant professor of political science at UMD.
There’s not a lot of evidence that debates could sway voters, but it’s critical to many of those who are undecided.
“I think that it’s a little scary. I think we have two candidates who are not very well trusted and people are a little iffy and I think that’ there’s a lot at stake,” said Jenna Lee who is voting in her first presidential election.
The first-time voters listened to the first debate and will ride the wave of words with two more debates to go.
“Hopefully it goes well. If it doesn’t there’s a couple more chances,” said Lee.
Many of the students said the issues they were concerned about were the budget and the Supreme Court.